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Newsy / Andrew Lawler

Non-Swing States Get Almost No Attention From White House Candidates

The candidates spend tons of time in swing states, which means issues that are important to swing states get more play in the election cycle.

By Kate Grumke, Zach Toombs | October 9, 2016

NEWSY'S ZACH TOOMBS: So Kate, we're doing this #OffTheTrail cross-country road trip to talk about the people, places and stories that aren't being talked about on the campaign trail.

NEWSY'S KATE GRUMKE: Yeah, and one of the things that's definitely not being talked about is Tennessee.

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ZT: Tennessee is not being talked about because Donald Trump is leading here by a lot; it's not a competitive state. They've spent a lot of time in the big swing states. Since the primaries ended, they spent 20 days in Pennsylvania combined, 18 days in Ohio, 16 days in Florida. You can compare that to Tennessee: They haven't spent any days in Tennessee since the primaries ended. And electorally, that makes sense when you look at the electoral map.

KG: Right, why would they spend time somewhere that they don't think they could win?

ZT: And because it's winner-take-all, even if you lose by a little bit, which Clinton will lose Tennessee by more than a little bit, but if you lose Tennessee by even a little bit, all the time and effort you poured into the state just kind of goes out the window. But that also means that there are some issues in Tennessee that aren't being talked about as part of a national discussion.

KG: And in other states that aren't close. It's not just Tennessee that's not being talked about.

ZT: Right, whereas, we've heard a lot of talk about the white working class's problems in Ohio and Pennsylvania because these are very valuable states that are competitive right now.

KG: Right, so the focus is on the issues of those states, not the issues of a lot of the other states.

ZT: When you live in a swing state, it's more likely that issues that matter to you on a daily basis become part of that national discussion. That doesn't happen in places here, like in Tennessee.

Get farther #OffTheTrail with more of these stories.

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